How to Pick a Medical Assistant Program in Kenosha Wisconsin
Once you have made a decision to join the rewarding field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant course in Kenosha WI, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the ideal one? Most future students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important factors as well. You may choose to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more on that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you must complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the colleges you are evaluating. And to help you with that process, we have included several questions that you should ask each of the schools on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the function of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are available.
The Duties of a Medical Assistant
The duties of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Basically their function is to make sure that the Kenosha WI clinics, hospitals and other medical care institutions where they work run efficiently. Based on the type or size of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with providing direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners but can also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. A few of the many functions of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Giving general support during exams and procedures
Although Kenosha WI medical assistants can carry out almost any duty they are qualified to under Wisconsin law, some choose to specialize in a specific area and attain certification. Two of the options offered are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) made available by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training Courses and Certification
In contrast to most other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Kenosha WI employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially 2 options offered for a formal education. The first and fastest way to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs usually take about 1 year to complete, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are developed to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs offered at junior and community colleges together with vocational and technical schools. They are more expansive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They frequently have a practical component involving an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
As stated previously, certification is not a legal requirement, but is a good idea for those who wish to advance their careers. Not only will it help in attaining a position after graduation, but it can also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Many potential Kenosha WI employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. The most popular and arguably the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to sit for the CMA examination, an applicant must have graduated or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered also, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Medical Assistant Online Colleges
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are an excellent alternative for those who might not have time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good solution for students who continue working full time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, a number of online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Supplemental expenses including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be minimized as well. Just remember that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can often be carried out in local Wisconsin medical care facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this method of receiving your training may be the ideal choice for you. Between the online lessons and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant in Kenosha WI is provided.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Before you can start assessing your medical assistant program options, you have to choose which type of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus near Kenosha WI or online from home. As soon as those choices have been made, you can begin the process of comparing programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, some prospective students limit their searches to the colleges that are nearest to home with the most affordable tuitions. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you must examine when researching Wisconsin schools. To assist you with that task, below are a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are many great reasons to make sure that the college you select is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged agencies for accreditation are the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). If your school is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Also, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Kenosha WI employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School’s Passage Percentage? Most of the accredited Kenosha WI area medical assistant colleges develop their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you must find out which of the certifications the colleges you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then of course you will need to choose a program concentrating on that certification. Next, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is just one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Obviously schools with low rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are basically two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is closer to one year. Or you can decide to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will take approximately two years to finish in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you elect to enroll in, make sure that the Kenosha WI area schools you are looking at offer the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? Many Wisconsin medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with area medical providers. They are an excellent way to receive hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also assist students build relationships within the Kenosha WI health care community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting that initial job may be a challenging task for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are interviewing provide job placement assistance and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of contacts in the Kenosha WI area to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? Class size might be an indicator of how much individual attention you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer greater access to teachers and face to face interaction. If possible, try to monitor a few classes before selecting a program in the Kenosha WI area to witness what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s essential that the college you enroll in provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends in Kenosha WI, verify that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will still need to schedule all internships or practical training that might be required. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Pick the Right Medical Assistant Program in Kenosha WI
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant program that will furnish the right training. Regardless if you’re planning to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you must obtain the appropriate info on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of schools offering training nowadays that you can make a selection based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, make sure that the program you select is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, make sure to ask the questions we have supplied so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the ideal program you can subsequently start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Kenosha WI.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Certified Medical Assistant?When getting ready to interview for a medical assistant position, it's helpful to reflect on questions you might be asked. Among the things that interviewers often ask applicants is "What made you choose medical assistance as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not just the private reasons you may have for becoming a Medical Assistant, but additionally what qualities and talents you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to medical assisting, in addition to a significant number of standard interview questions, so you need to prepare a number of approaches about how you want to answer them. Since there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you along with the talents you possess that make you an excellent medical assistant and the perfiect candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but take down some ideas and talking points that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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